The Australian Pink Floyd - Oxford New Theatre 16/03/14
Technically cover bands should not be charging over £30 a ticket.
Technically cover bands should not be selling out theatres or the O2.
Technically all this is irrelevant because Aussie Pink Floyd are technically incredible and worth every penny.
It was obvious that we were in for a treat when the queue of people waiting to get in to the New Theatre went around the block.. the place was sold out - Stalls, Circle and Balcony. I've seen many famous bands at this theatre over the years and many have not achieved this..and let me remind you that technically we are here to watch a cover band.
...but I'm being facetious - we all know Aussie Pink Floyd should not be labelled as a "cover band". These guys (although the line up has changed through the years) are gifted musicians - Jason Sawford on keyboards is the glue holding them all together - he is as good a musician as you will hear in any band, any time, any where.
The set this year seemed a bit more eclectic than other years (no theme other than "what the fans have asked for") but very, very good all the same. The best compliment that I can give was that if you closed your eyes you were at a Floyd show.. except don't close your eyes, because that is half of the experience.. the light shows, the lasers, the projections.
There is humour mixed in too ..the giant inflatable Kangaroo was ace but I thought it was a really cool touch replacing the radio chatter from the start of Wish You Were Here with excerpts from Neighbours, Kylie, Men At Work, AC/DC, etc (see a theme?)
What did they play? Well I think it was ..
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
Welcome to the Machine
What Do You Want from Me
Coming Back to Life
Breathe & The Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Wish You Were Here
One of These Days
Encore - Run Like Hell
Yes they started with an epic like "Shine On ..." - how many bands would have the balls to open with a 20 minute plus song? The last time I saw that it was Marillion opening with Grendel at Reading Festival in 1983!!
..oh and David Domminney-Fowler on guitar, looks about 12 and was superb throughout (as was the rest of the band) but the solo at the end of Comfortably Numb got everyone on their feet applauding!
Speaking to someone else who was at the gig, they said that they actually preferred Aussie Pink Floyd to the original as "the Roger Water parts are sung much better". I'm not going to comment on that other than to say that this is the closest any of us are now going to get to seeing a Pink Floyd show.
Here are some clips we found on You Tube from Paris to give you a feel for what you're missing if you've never seen them..